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Gravedigger 5


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The Gravedigger Five – often shown as Gravedigger V – was a garage rock revival band formed in 1984 in San Diego, California. The band was part of the Paisley Underground, a musical movement centered around Los Angeles, California, which referenced 1960s West Coast pop and garage rock. The band’s lineup consisted of Leighton Koizumi on vocals and sound effects, Ted Friedman on lead guitar, John Hanrattie on rhythm guitar and backup vocals, Dave “The Animal” Anderson on drums and percussion, and originally Chris Gast, who was replaced on bass and backing vocals by Tom Ward. When the Gravedigger Five broke up, members of the band went on to form The Morlocks and Manual Scan.


The members of the Gravedigger Five began playing together around 1983, practicing under the name “The Shamen” in bassist Chris Gast’s garage. The group began writing songs together while its members were still teenagers; lead singer Leighton Koizumi was only sixteen years old when the band began to perform. When the band eventually went on to play the Whiskey A Go Go, the band members had to wait outside between sets, as the members were too young to be in the club. The name “The Shamen” was abandoned after the group discovered that the name was already in use by another band, and so after a night of brainstorming, purportedly at a local Bob’s Big Boy, the group renamed their band the Gravedigger Five, a take-off on the old “Monster Mash” backing group The Cryptkicker V.

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